Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Interview conducted by Mark Tamer
Overlapse is an independent visual arts and photobooks imprint based in London UK, founded in 2015 by publisher Tiffany Jones. We asked Tiffany some questions about herself and her work.
Can you tell us something about Overlapse and what you do?
Overlapse collaborates with artists and photographers to produce desirable books with relevant, socially progressive and universal themes that explore shared human experiences. Each book object is distinctive, has a life of its own, and hopefully readers will bond with them in meaningful ways.
I founded the imprint on my own and run quite a demanding operation! A ‘normal’ day could involve answering emails, writing press releases, doing financial accounting, schlepping parcels to the post office and packing a few hundred books for a shipment to the other side of the world. Much of my time is spent in conversation with photographers about their ideas and their work, with a mind to making an extraordinary book. I design quite a lot, so I’m working with image arrangements and thinking of ways to express the essence of what photographers are trying to say and do with their projects. Then I regularly deal with printers, which involves having a considerable understanding of papers and materials that are used in production, so that’s a fun challenge. These are a few things that I do. When a book is published I’m selling it to shops, internationally, and I also travel quite often to book fairs in Europe and North America, taking books to the people!
Tiffany Jones | Publisher, and founder of Overlapse
You were a photographer initially and then moved into publishing. How did that transition come about and are you still practicing as a photographer?
I’ve been involved in photography, journalism and publishing in balance since I was a young girl. I was fortunate to be given a good Kodak camera by my uncle when I was 8 and began looking at the world through it, rather compulsively, right from the start! Alongside that, I was writing journals and poetry, and started writing music reviews for a magazine when I was 13. In high school (in Canada) I studied journalism and edited the school newspaper which had 2500+ readers. All of this experience shaped my ambition, as I felt quite a magnetic pull to pursue this path of research and storytelling. So I went on to study photojournalism in college, and then later did an intensive publishing course. That was a long while back! I focused on my own photography intensively from about 2002-2015, and was editing the magazine for London Independent Photography (fLIP) from 2010-2014.
The editing experience pushed me to make some changes in my life, and in 2016 I completed my MA in Publishing here in the UK, researching the market for contemporary photobooks. During the course I published my first book as part of an independent study module - The Longest Way Round - and it got quite a lot of positive attention internationally. It was encouraging, so I was motivated to continue with publishing. As a photographer my interest is in social documentary and poetic representation of life as we live it, so the foundation is based in journalism. For the past few years I haven’t really practised serious photography of my own, which I’m fine with for now. Of course like everyone I often use my phone camera. These days I am acting as a bridge for other photographers, to take their ideas and stories and shape them into books that audiences want to buy.
Beyond Drifting - Mandy Barker
Can you explain a little about how you work with the artist on their book? What is your role, how much input do you have?